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Supply Chain

Sonae MC-Led Consortium Invests €110m In Portuguese Food Sector

By Branislav Pekic
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Sonae MC-Led Consortium Invests €110m In Portuguese Food Sector

Portuguese retail group Sonae MC is leading a consortium of 50 entities that aim to invest €110 million in the Portuguese food sector.

The Viiafood project involves companies, laboratories and sector associations and is coordinated by PortugalFoods.

Half of the planned financing will be provided by the Portuguese government and the rest by the companies involved.

The project aims to contribute to the promotion of healthier and more sustainable food, as well as to empower the sector,  increasing its international competitiveness.

It aims to achieve these goals through the research and development of new products and the improvement of production processes through new technologies.

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New Products And Services

Viiafood has pledged to develop more than 130 new products, services and processes by 2025, in line with national and international trends on healthy eating and sustainability.

In all, 29 companies from different areas in the food sector and 20 entities from the National Scientific System, as well as sector associations and collaborative laboratories, with expertise in the R&D fields applied to the food sector, are involved.

Elsewhere, Sonae’s technological investment arm Bright Pixel Capital, has participated in a $115 million (€113 million) funding round in Afresh, an AI-powered fresh food technology provider.

The funding was led by Spark Capital and included the participation from Insight Partners, VMG Partners, and from Walter Robb, senior executive partner at S2G Ventures and former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. All prior investors also took part, bringing the company’s total funding to $148 million (€145 million).

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Fresh Operating System

Afresh will use the investment to scale and expand the footprint of its Fresh Operating System solution for forecasting, inventory, ordering, and store operations, to support new fresh categories like meat and bakery.

The funding will also be used to grow Afresh’s team and expand internationally to Europe.

Aiming to serve 10% of US grocery stores by the end of 2022, Afresh tripled its customer base in 2021 with regional chains like CUB and national chains like Albertsons. It plans to roll out to more than 2,300 Albertsons stores by the end of 2022.

Read More: Sonae’s MC Arm Reports H1 Turnover Growth Of 7.6%

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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